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Matthew 9:18-33

  • Obstacles are a form of trouble that everyone faces at some point.
  • Jesus – “Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows.” (John 16:33)
  • Obstacles have a way of frustrating and discouraging our faith.
  • Jesus – “The seed on the rocky soil represents those who hear the message and immediately receive it with joy. But since they don’t have deep roots, they don’t last long. They fall away as soon as they have problems or are persecuted for believing God’s word.” (Matthew 13:20-21)
  • Whenever we face obstacles we must stay committed to the Lord.
    • “So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.” (Galatians 6:9)
    • The Lord will even use our obstacles as opportunities in our lives.
    • When troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.” (James 1:2-4)
  • How does the Lord use obstacles as opportunities in our lives?

Obstacles Are Opportunities For Jesus To Bring:

  • As Jesus was saying this, the leader of a synagogue came and knelt before Him. ‘My daughter has just died,’ he said, ‘but You can bring her back to life again if You just come and lay your hand on her.’ So Jesus and His disciples got up and went with him.” (Matthew 9:18-19)
  • The Lord can bring hope from even the most hopeless of circumstances.
  • When we’re struggling with hopelessness, we need to trust that Jesus will help us.
  • So Jesus and His disciples got up and went with him.” (Matthew 9:19)
  • We may not be prepared for calamity, but Jesus is always there with us.
  • ‘The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; He rescues those whose spirits are crushed.” (Psalm 34:18)
  • When we’re struggling with hopelessness, we need to realize that the Lord’s delays are not His denials.
    • Just then a woman who had suffered for twelve years with constant bleeding came up behind Him.” (Matthew 9:20)
    • “Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying.” (Romans 12:12)
    • Sometimes we experience delays because: 1) The Time Isn’t Right (Habakkuk 2:3), 2) The Request Isn’t Right (Romans 8:28), or 3) Our Heart Isn’t Right (James 4:1,3).
    • The Lord isn’t really being slow about His promise, as some people think. No, He is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent.” (2 Peter 3:9)
  • When we’re struggling with hopelessness, we need to rely on the Lord’s promises.
    • Jesus – “The girl isn’t dead; she’s only asleep.” (Matthew 9:24)
    • We can always trust the Lord to keep His promises.
    • Such things were written in the Scriptures long ago to teach us. And the Scriptures give us hope and encouragement as we wait patiently for God’s promises to be fulfilled.” (Romans 15:4)
  • What situation do I need the Lord to give me hope?

Obstacles Are Opportunities For Jesus To Bring:

  • “Just then a woman who had suffered for twelve years with constant bleeding came up behind Him. She touched the fringe of his robe, for she thought, ‘If I can just touch His robe, I will be healed.’ Jesus turned around, and when He saw her He said, ‘Daughter, be encouraged! Your faith has made you well.’ And the woman was healed at that moment.” (Matthew 9:20-22)
  • Even the pursuit of healing can bring suffering.
  • “She had suffered a great deal from many doctors, and over the years she had spent everything she had to pay them, but she had gotten no better. In fact, she had gotten worse.” (Mark 5:26)
  • The secret to overcoming suffering is to not give up.
  • Enduring suffering is easier when we Understand God’s Perspective.
  • Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory He will reveal to us later.” (Romans 8:18)
  • Enduring suffering is easier when we Trust God’s Purposes.
  • You can make many plans, but the Lord’s purpose will prevail.” (Proverbs 19:21)
  • When we’re going through suffering, we’ve got to keep on going with Jesus.
  • Job – “Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him.” (Job 13:15 NKJV)
  • How is God trying to use some of my sufferings?

Obstacles Are Opportunities For Jesus To Bring:

  • After Jesus left the girl’s home, two blind men followed along behind Him, shouting, ‘Son of David, have mercy on us!’ They went right into the house where He was staying, and Jesus asked them, ‘Do you believe I can make you see?’ ‘Yes, Lord,’ they told Him, ‘we do.’ Then He touched their eyes and said, ‘Because of your faith, it will happen.’ Then their eyes were opened, and they could see!” (Matthew 9:27-30)
  • The devil will often use physical, mental, and emotional ailments to limit our capacity to serve the Lord.
  • Jesus – “The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.” (John 10:10)
  • The Lord will often work through our limitations to demonstrate His glory and to present a great testimony.
  • Rabbi,’ His disciples asked Him, ‘why was this man born blind? Was it because of his own sins or his parents’ sins?’ ‘It was not because of his sins or his parents’ sins,’ Jesus answered. ‘This happened so the power of God could be seen in him.’” (John 9:2-3)
  • Heaven offers the promise of a life unencumbered by physical, mental, and emotional limitations.
  • “He will take our weak mortal bodies and change them into glorious bodies like His own.” (Philippians 3:21)
  • He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.” (Revelation 21:4)
  • What physical, mental, or emotional ailments do I need the Lord to heal?

Obstacles Are Opportunities For Jesus To Bring:

  • When they left, a demon-possessed man who couldn’t speak was brought to Jesus. So Jesus cast out the demon, and then the man began to speak. The crowds were amazed. ‘Nothing like this has ever happened in Israel!’ they exclaimed.” (Matthew 9:32-33)
  • The devil will often attack Christians with debilitating guilt, shame, bitterness, fear, anger, and more.
  • Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith.” (1 Peter 5:8-9)
  • We often open the door to bondage when we “accept” sin in our lives.
  • ‘Don’t sin by letting anger control you.’ Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry, for anger gives a foothold to the devil.” (Ephesians 4:26-27)
  • We can live in freedom when we know the truth and live the truth.
  • But if we confess our sins to Him, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.” (1 John 1:9)
  • Jesus – “You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:32)
  • Where do I need to experience breakthrough in my life?
  • The difference between obstacle and opportunity is really a matter of perspective.
  • But the Pharisees said, ‘He can cast out demons because He is empowered by the prince of demons.’” (Matthew 9:34)
  • Only when we see Jesus as the Almighty Supreme God will we recognize that every obstacle, every challenge – everything is under His authority.
  • “Christ is also the head of the church, which is His body. He is the beginning, supreme over all who rise from the dead. So He is first in everything. For God in all His fullness was pleased to live in Christ.” (Colossians 1:18-19)
  • If Jesus can overcome the grave, He can help us overcome every obstacle we face.
  • What is the Lord saying to me through today’s message?


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FIRST STEPS is the membership course for Celebration Church. This four-week course is designed to help the participant understand his first steps at Celebration Church, all the while setting him up for his next steps of growth and service.

  • Introduces Salvation, Baptism and Christian Growth.
  • History and Vision of Celebration
  • Promotes Worship Service Attendance and Church Involvement
  • Introduces Celebration Statement of Beliefs
  • Launches Participants into Life Group
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  • Launches Participants towards NEXT STEPS and DISCIPLESHIP PATHWAYS

The FIRST STEPS course takes place on four consecutive weeks

(Lesson One = Week One, Lesson Two = Week Two…). If someone misses a week one month, they can return the following month and make it up. Although people can start at any point, the flow of the course works better if they begin on Week one.


Celebration Family and Guests,

Welcome to Celebration Church – where God is met, Love is felt, and Lives are changed. Our Pastors and I pray that you will be greatly encouraged by the welcome you receive, worship you participate in, teaching you hear from God’s Word, and the presence of God’s Spirit. 

Today we are beginning a new sermon series, ACCEPT THE CHALLENGE, based on Matthew 10-11. In this series we are going to be learning how to become real disciples of Jesus and how to be difference-makers in the world around us. Plan to join us on upcoming Sundays, bringing friends and family members with you, as we learn how to appropriate Jesus’ power and live by Jesus’ plans for our lives.

Here are some other upcoming special activities that you will want to take note of.

  • May 29 is Communion Sunday – when we participate in the Lord’s Supper together.
  • June 5 is Promotion Sundaythis is an important Sunday when Children move from Kidztown to Midpoint, and Midpointers move up into our Youth Ministry.
  • June 12 is All In Baptism Sunday – this is a great day for people who have their faith in Jesus to take the step of baptism by immersion – an important step in the life of every believer (to learn more about baptism read Matthew 28:19-20; Acts 2:36-41, 8:26-40).
  • June 19 is Father’s Day – a great day for honoring fathers and for bringing fathers with us to our worship services.

Throughout the month of May we are affirming and appreciating our wonderful Volunteers here at Celebration Church – the people who serve in different roles in our weekend worship services and midweek ministries. We wouldn’t be the Church we are today were it not for the selfless sacrifice and service of the hundreds of people who help us pull off our worship services and ministries. Please join us in thanking the Celebration volunteers that you know and meet from time to time. And if you would like to join our Volunteer Team you can find more information about how to do that by going to

If you want to Make A Decision, share Prayer Requests with us or Give to support God’s work through Celebration Church, you can do so right here on our Digital Worship Guide. Lives are being changed, marriages are being reconciled, families are being restored and people are experiencing the transforming power of Jesus as a result of your support of our Church’s ministry through your prayers, service and giving.

Dennis Watson

Lead Pastor, Celebration Church


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Kidztown Children’s Ministry is all about partnering with parents to disciple the children who attend our church. Our Uptown ministry targets 1st through 4th Grade students, and our Downtown ministry is aimed at Birth to Kindergarten students. Each ministry area is a safe, secure and nurturing educational environment with our leaders and trained volunteers.

The Children’s Ministry of Celebration Church has a three-fold life purpose for every child, which is no different than the purpose for an adult’s life!

We want children to:

• Learn about Jesus
• Live for Jesus
• Let others know about Jesus

Our three-fold life purpose is designed to be experienced by our babies and toddlers just as much as it can be experienced by our elementary students. We want our babies to feel the love of Jesus the minute they come through our doorway.
As songs are sung and stories are read, children will understand that they are special in God’s Kingdom and will begin to open up their hearts and minds to receive the “Good News” of Jesus Christ. Our goal is for every child to become fully devoted followers of Christ, by asking Jesus to be their forever friend!

It is our privilege to partner with parents, grandparents and other significant adults in a child’s life as we embark on this journey together. The precious children that have been entrusted to our loving care are a treasure to us as well. We believe there is no greater call that to make a difference in the life of a child.

Visit our website by clicking the button below to meet our staff or apply to become a volunteer.

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Midpoint is a ministry just for 5th through 7th graders. Because we know that kids at this age are trying to figure out whether they are children or pre-teens, our Midpoint leaders work hard to create a “cool” atmosphere in the context of a very safe and protected environment. Their leaders and pastors teach them an age-appropriate message and then the young people are challenged to talk through how to apply those biblical principles to their lives in small group discussions.

Midpoint meets during all weekend worship services. Students join their parents for the music portion of the service and then are dismissed during the video announcements where leaders take them to their designated ministry area. Midpoint also has periodic outreach events, parties, field trips, games, crafts and other fun experiences centered around 5th through 7th graders.

Visit our website by clicking the button below to meet our staff or apply to become a volunteer.

The Social Youth Ministry is designed so our teenagers (8th-12th grade) can meet weekly for a fun, exciting, and relevant youth service that focuses on challenging teenagers in their daily lives. This service is planned with the intention of encouraging, motivating, and inspiring young people to overcome the challenges they face in life and to make a difference in the world they live in through Jesus Christ! All of our youth services are relevant to the searching teen, understandable to the new believer, and challenging for the mature believer. Throughout the week youth meet in small groups called Life Groups. Life Groups provide a community experience where teens can share what is happening in their lives and hold each other accountable for following the Bible lessons learned in their weekly Wednesday night service. Visit our website by clicking the button below to meet our staff or apply to become a volunteer.



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Dear Celebration Members and Guests,

Welcome to Christmas Eve at Celebration – where God is met, Love is felt and Lives are changed. Our Pastors, Leaders and I pray that you will be encouraged by today’s service.

Christmas is about God’s Son bringing hope and transformation to our world, and at Celebration people from all walks of life are experiencing Lord’s hope, joy and peace. Children and Teens in our Church are growing up to be strong, positive and spiritual individuals. College Students, Single Adults and Couples are learning how to have stronger lives and relationships as they find God’s purpose for their lives. Senior Adults are also finding new purpose as they mentor and minister to the generations that follow them. And many people are finding help, hope and healing for their lives through the ministries of our Church.

Through our Life Group ministry and other ministries, great friendships are being established, people are growing stronger spiritually and relationally, and they are learning how to have a positive influence on the world around them.

We would love for you to join us in upcoming weeks to discover more about God’s purposes and plans for your life, and to learn how you can experience His best in your life. In January we are beginning the TRANSFORMED spiritual growth emphasis. In this special emphasis we’re going to learn how to “transform” our lives, circumstances and relationships so we can become “transformers” of the culture around us.

To benefit fully from TRANSFORMED, our Pastors and I are sharing some critical concepts on upcoming weekends that will help us all prepare to become “transformed.”

  • On December 26-27 we will learn “How God Changes Us.”
  • On December January 2-3 we will learn about “The Five Habits Of Healthy People”
  • On January 9-10 we will learn “How To Have A Great Support System In Our Lives”

In the weeks that follow as we begin TRANSFORMED, we will learn in our Life Groups and In-person and Online Worship Services: 1) How To Set Personal Goals By Faith, 2) How To Get Close To God, 3) How To Move From Stressed To Blessed In Our Lives, 4) How To Change Our Lives By Changing Our Minds, 5) How To Overcome Fears That Ruin Relationships and much more. All of those teachings can be accessed Online as well as in In-person Life Groups and Worship Services. We would love for you to be a part of our TRANSFORMED emphasis.

Also to help people experience the transforming power of the Lord throughout 2021, we’re offering our Journey Through The Bible adventure that begins on January 1. Through daily podcasts and/or written devotions I’m going to be leading our people to read and journey through the entire Bible in 2021 in a way that will help them learn the stories and principles of the Bible and bring transformation to their lives, circumstances and relationships. Don’t miss this opportunity to participate in a great adventure through 2021. Sign up today to be a part of the Journey Through The Bible adventure (

This month, we are still collecting our EVERYONE NEEDS JESUS Christmas/Missions Offering. Our Christmas/Missions Offering goes directly to support Missionaries, Mission Ministries, and Mission Projects locally and around the world. We ask our People to give to this offering above their regular offering as a “Christmas gift to Jesus” to further support His work. You can give to the Everyone Needs Jesus offering today along with your regular offering, or you can give online at

Thanks again for joining us for our Christmas service. Merry Christmas to you and your family.

Thanks for joining us today,

Dennis Watson

Lead Pastor, Celebration Church